A Peek at Our DIY Standing Desk + The Home Office Mood Board

August 29, 2016

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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We made some exciting strides in our studio over the weekend. After not being overly excited about the standing desks on the market, we decided to build our own. We wanted storage. We wanted it sided so there was room for both of us. And we wanted it about 45″ high–the natural elbow height that works for Chris and I. We shared a mockup of the desk in this post, but this weekend we got started constructing that desk that’s been in our head for months.

A Peek at Our DIY Standing Desk + The Home Office Mood Board | Chris Loves Julia

I’m saving the full, detailed tutorial for when we get it completed (so close!), but it’s make out of stacked Ikea cabinets. A base cabinet and an above-the-fridge cabinet that we cut down. We’re still kind of pinching ourselves that it worked. To finish it off, this week we’ll be building a base, adding cover pieces (so you won’t see that seam on the side), adding hardware and a countertop.

Which feels like a natural segue into a mini moodboard for this room. Anytime we’re starting a new space, I like to make a moodboard. Sometimes it evolves and changes as the room takes shape but it helps us start to visually see how components might work together. And for this room, I personally needed to see a mood board because I was struggling with a countertop choice. Here’s where we landed:A Peek at Our DIY Standing Desk + The Home Office Mood Board | Chris Loves Julia

1. Black Linen Drum Pendant. My inspiration photo had two large black drum pendants over the desk and I knew I wanted to bring something similar into our office. However, the current light is in the center of the room so we wanted a fixture we could swag over to the center of our desk that’s sort of a peninsula off the back wall. This pendant has a pretty gold chain that will do the trick.

2. Schoolhouse Clock. I’ve carried around this clock all summer! We originally ordered it for the Pittsburgh kitchen, thinking it would fit above the door frame but the space ended up being a smidge too small. So I packed it in my suitcase and I can’t wait to hang it in here. I think it brings a classic, slightly masculine edge.

3. Faux Marble Countertops. We’ve been hopping from stone yards and hardware stores pricing out countertops for a few weeks now. The problem is, our desktop is only about 18 sq feet and a lot of places make you order at least 25 sq feet if you can’t find a remnant that works. And we can’t find a remnant! Then we priced out this cool marble formica but for some reason, it came out to be over $900? Which seemed steep for 18 sq feet of laminate. So now we’re going to use a marble contact paper and I’m hopeful it will look great. Stay tuned.

4. Threshold Vintage Oak Bookcases. The closet now has all kinds of crazy shelving and rods (you can see it in this post). We’re removing all of them (something we would have done even if it were a regular clothes closet) and putting three of these bookshelves lining the space. We already had one and it ended up being cheaper to buy two more than to try to build other shelving. I’m excited to store normal things like our printer and my paint supplies on it, but also finally have a place for decor I rotate through.

5. Knobs for the desk.

6. Agate bookends for prettiness.

7. Bar height stools. Although this is a standing-height desk, standing for long periods of time or all day is actually something you have to work up to, so we got these bar height stools to assist us. How beautiful and kind of them. 

Of course there are things you don’t see yet. Like the mac mini and monitor that we picked out (that Chris is trying to convince me to mount on those beautiful walls). Our filing cabinets. You know, things that actually help an office function–all that will be present, too.

With each step, we find ourselves saying, “Well, the hard part is over!” And I actually believe that’s true now. It’s all excitement over here.


What do you think?

  1. Nihal says:

    Cant wait to see the Pendant light up, I have my eye on it just waiting to see it up in your office!

  2. Cindy says:

    I’m with Chris on mounting the monitors. Our monitor is older and can’t be mounted, but how many times I have wished that it could! Do it and don’t look back. It’s like the difference between a sconce and a table lamp: so much space created!

  3. Britt says:

    I always loved their little DIY on faux marble top…

  4. Jessica Dee says:

    In our office we did solid cherry from an independent lumber store. They glued, planed, and jointed- we sealed. I love the warm library feel and when it gets too worn we can sand it and re-seal it. Oddly, Our office has very similar color scheme with a giant shared desk. I love it.
    Have you considered concrete again? I wonder how painting white concrete to look like marble would work. It might feel more like marble because it is cold.

    • Julia says:

      Preston did some marbled concrete in a friend’s home and it looks pretty great. We kind of wanted to keep the counter more lightweight, just in case down the road a few years we move the desk up to the nursery, we COULD move it.

  5. Naomi says:

    I’ve ben eyeing those bookends of West Elm myself, until I looked at the dimensions. They’re teenty tiny.
    Good luck on the standing desk, can’t wait to see it! I’ve been looking to create a huge one myself (think one that can sit (or stand, in this case) 8 people). ‘m not as talented as you so it’s a huge headache.

  6. Jennifer armstrong says:

    Beautiful! Can you tell me what you used for the raised textured walls? Is it like some type of wainscoting?

  7. Rachel says:

    You might try looking for a different fabricator. I have one I use here in Utah that is a fraction the cost of the big box stores. I used a premium Formica color with the new pencil edge and it cost around $450 for him to do our gallery kitchen and a bathroom in a rental we did.

  8. Kim says:

    Have you thought about painting a faux marble top? I’ve seen some really good ones on Pintrest. I even painted the top of a dresser with faux marble for our media cabinet in our living room.

  9. Jennie says:

    You could consider buying a sheet of Formica and make the laminate countertops yourself. The sheet should run around $3-$3.50 per square foot, plus the substrate material (MDF, etc). The Formica sheets should be available in 4×8 and maybe 5×10. I’m not as familiar with contact paper options but it seems the laminate would be a more durable surface.

    • Jennie says:

      I should have read the earlier comments with this suggestion already given. I work for a custom cabinetry shop and we make laminate tops occasionally. Given you have carpentry experience, I feel you could easily make this yourself. Go for it! :)

  10. Did you know IKEA now has a “marble” laminate? No idea how it looks in person, but a girl can dream that it looks pretty good!

    Can’t wait to see the finished desk!

  11. kate says:

    love this! how big is the desk surface? The formica piece is 4′ x 8′ for $90… I doubt its bigger than that, right?

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